Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude visits “inspirational” City Year volunteers in Shoreditch today

Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude made a special visit to a Shoreditch School this morning, to see firsthand the difference made by the “inspirational role models” who volunteer there.

Mr Maude was given a tour of Whitmore Primary School in Bridport Place, where nine volunteers from City Year have been working since September.

The youth and education charity places teams of gap year students and university graduates in schools to provide classroom support, giving the volunteers valuable work experience in the meantime.

The project runs at at one Westminster senior school and five inner London primary schools – including three in Hackney – Sebright, Shacklewell and Grazebrook, but hopes to expand.

Mr Maude met head teacher, Penny Smith, and City Year team leader, Chilima Sianyeuka, to observe classes where City Year corps members support teachers and help children.

Mr Maude said the volunteers were “inspirational role models” who were making a “fantastic difference” to the schools they are work in.

“It is helping children with their school work and attitude to life and learning, but equally importantly, it has a transformational effect on the young people themselves, who gain new skills and have a life changing experience,” he said.

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“I look forward to seeing City Year grow into a national organisation and empowering tens of thousands of children and young people up and down the country.”